Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Meet Mario Desa!

January 13th, 2010 by

Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mario Desa claims that in his early years he hadn’t thought much about being anything more than a gang banger.  Thankfully, Mario eventually found punk rock, skateboarding and graffiti – three staples that greatly aided in his transformation to becoming a tattoo artist.  In fact, from the early age of 13 Desa was interested in getting his own tattoos done.

Desa has been tattooing professionally since 1997.  In his early, formative years, Desa says that graffiti played a relatively large influence on his tattoo style.  These days however, graffiti tattoos don’t interest him, although he does admit to trying to bring a little of the graffiti style back into his tattoo work, in terms of colour combinations and blends.  What does interest him more now, seems to come from outside of tattooing:

“Now, more so, I look outside of tattooing, like Henry Darger, Fred Stonehouse, Mexican art. It doesn’t really show up in the tattoos, but there’s a hint. Mentally, I am thinking about some of their stuff, and trying to bring back some of my graffiti influence; as far as color combinations and blends, but not necessarily graffiti. I don’t really like doing graffiti tattoos.”

From a stylistic point, Desa’s favourite work is American Traditional, however, as with all great tattoo artists, he can pretty much pull everything off.  Portrait work is the only tattoo form that he will refuse to do, as he believes that anyone seeking out a portrait tattoo should go to a portrait tattoo specialist.  Makes perfect sense to me: an artist that is aware of their boundaries is in my books, a wise one.

Mario can be found at The Chicago Tattooing and Piercing Co, in Chicago, illinois.  His hours are as follows:

Tuesday, 4pm-midnight
Wednesday, 4pm-midnight
Thursday, noon-6pm
Friday, 4pm-midnight
Saturday, noon-6pm

Lastly, you can check out his tattoo work, artwork and prints by visiting his website, Permanent Luxury.

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